Kurdish leader Barzani resigns after independence vote backfires

Kurdistan's parl't to discuss Barzani presidency on Sun.

Kurdish presidential elections scheduled to be held in November have been postponed indefinitely.

He told parliament he would remain as a member of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish fighting force alligned to the KRG and the Barzani family.

In a televised address, his first since Iraqi forces launched a surprise offensive to recapture Kurdish-held territory on October 16, Barzani confirmed that he would not extend his presidential term after November 1 "under any conditions".

The Kurdish referendum on support for independence was held in the three provinces that make up the Kurds' autonomous zone, as well as in a string of territories claimed by Baghdad, but at the time controlled by Kurdish forces.

The Kurdish referendum on support for independence that was held in September sparked tensions between Irbil and Baghdad as well as areas across the region.

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The central government retook the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which the Kurds had held since 2014 and regard as both their spiritual homeland and a key source of revenue for their would-be independent state, in a military offensive on October 16.

He was elected president by the Kurdish parliament in 2005, and won almost 70 per cent of the vote in Kurdistan's first direct presidential election in 2009.

Macro made the remarks during a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi on Saturday.

He added that the Iraqi attack on Kirkuk and other Kurdish held territory vindicated his postion that Baghdad no longer believed in federalism and instead wanted to curtail Kurdish rights.

"This should prevent bloodshed between the children of the same country", he said. In 2013 he refused to abandon the post, though his mandate expired.

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Abadi also wants to take control of the border crossings between the Kurdish region and Turkey, Iran and Syria, including one through which an oil export pipeline crosses into Turkey, carrying Iraqi and Kurdish crude oil.

Colonel Ahmad al-Jubouri, commander of the Iraqi army's Nineveh Operations Command, said Peshmerga forces withdrew from the center of the Makhmur district, south of Erbil, after receiving orders to do so few hours after they seized control of wide parts of it, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The Kurdistan Region Security Council said the Iraqi forces and Iran-backed militias were hitting the peshmerga positions from an area northwest of Mosul.

He demanded on Thursday that the Kurds declare their referendum void, rejecting the KRG offer to suspend its independence push to resolve a crisis through talks, saying in a statement: "We won't accept anything but its cancellation and the respect of the constitution".

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